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29.10.2008 Africa

AU Discusses Crisis

By Daily Guide

THE AFRICAN Union (AU) is preparing to hold a summit next month on the continent's response to the global financial crisis.In line with this, it has implored member states to ensure sound economic practices that will cushion their economies against effects posed by the global market.

“We urge African governments to pursue prudent monetary and fiscal policies to mitigate the effects of falling world markets on the continent, in a manner that does not compromise our development,” Jean Ping, AU Commission Chief told a meeting on sustainable development at the 6th Forum on Sustainable Development in Brazzaville, Congo Republic's capital.

He said the continental body and the African Development Bank (AfDB) had agreed to hold the summit on November 12 in Tunis.

“There is no doubt it will have serious repercussions on capital flows and their sustainability, as well as on trade in Africa,” Ping said adding the financial crisis may reduce donors' development aid budgets.

African economies generally have been growing at their fastest pace for years partly as a result of booming Asian demand for their commodities exports and rising foreign investment.

However, with the global economic slowdown which has seen some developed economies tipping into recession, the International Monetary Fund has trimmed growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa to 6 percent in 2008 and 2009 from 6.5 percent in 2007.

The Tunis conference comes just a few days after the world's major industrialised and developing economies (G-20) meet in Brazil to draw up plans to tackle the crisis in preparation for a global summit in Washington on November 15. From the Business Desk